Street Sense Organisation (SSO), an NGO championing road safety education in Ghana has organised a tree planting exercise along the Korle Gonno Beach to Mortuary road and Ring Road West in Accra.
The exercise, which was done in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Ghana Wildlife Society, Ghana Forestry Commission, Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises under Association of Industries (GRIPE-AGI), and Let’s Do It Ghana is to mark this year’s World Environment Day, on the theme, “Ecosystem Restoration”.
In all, a thousand trees are expected to be planted in the targeted areas to help beautify and smarten up Accra by providing shades along pedestrian walkways and greening open spaces, as well as helping to control road accidents and mitigating effects of climate change.
Mr Samson Oddoye, the National Coordinator of SSO, said one of their eight objectives is growing trees along the roads to serve as natural protection of the roads and protecting the subsoil from erosion.
He said: “Trees are part of our lives and the more trees that we have, the cleaner the air that we breathe” and urged the public to join the exercise to plant more trees to ensure a healthy environment.
He also urged the AMA to enforce its by-laws on roaming animals to ensure that the trees are not destroyed.
Mr Desmond Appiah, an Advisor to the Mayor of Accra, said the SSO’s tree planting concept was good as they were planting and nurturing them to achieve results and the AMA had developed a Climate Action Plan and identified the need for shaded walkways and would plant more trees to check the rate of deforestation.
He said cities were becoming heat islands because of the negative activities on the environment and the partnership with SSO came at the right time as the AMA had planned to plant a thousand trees in Accra and with the collaboration, they were getting towards the realisation of that objective.
He said: “SSO is a road safety organisation, but clearly promoting pedestrian safety requires that we look at other things and not only the vehicles and the roads but promote the ability of people walking easily”.
He said in Accra “most of the journey is made through walking but people will not walk if there is so much heat, so we need to plant more trees along the walkways to promote quality health and comfort for pedestrians”.
Mr Felix Baidoo, Working Group Member of GRIPE-AGI, said they were glad to partner SSO as they were already in the promotion of the environment and about four years ago, they were much concerned about the environment, and as a company they came together to form GRIPE-AGI to protect the environment, more importantly how to manage its sustainably.
He expressed gratitude to SSO and other partners for keeping the ideals of keeping Accra and for that matter the whole country greener.
Ms Loiusa Kabobah, Conservation Education Officer at Ghana Wildlife Society, said the initiative apart from making Accra greener, would also encourage wildlife, provide shades and fresh air for pedestrians.
She said they are not embarking on the activity for themselves, but the next generation and called on all to come on board to take action for ecosystem restoration.
Over 300 volunteers and participants from the Solution Oriented Youth Africa, Ghana Youth Environmental Movement, Eagle Riders Clubs, Ghana Africa Youth Organisation, Dansworld Services and CMA CGM, among others, participated in the exercise.